The Mid-Year Blog Check-In


Happy July, everyone! We started the year with big goals and high hopes for our blogs, and it's time to do a mid-year check in. While it's great to have goals, what's the use of them if they're not being measured, revisited and assessed, right?

As we head into the second half of 2013, let's take a look at some of the things that can help us think about the what, how and why we blog.

Now is a perfect time as any to pat yourself on the back for the achievements you're proud of, switch up the things that aren't working for you, and brainstorm exciting new content ideas. Have a seat in a quiet place, grab a pen & notepad (or tablet and favorite note-taking app), sip some wine and take some time to have a good, hard look at your blog. If this is the first time you've stopped to reflect on your blog – great! Taking time to do this has always been helpful for me and I encourage you to do it as often as you can. These are a just a few questions I ask myself:

What do your analytics tell you?

Numbers don't lie, and in this case, they can be the friend that tells it like it is. Dive into your Google Analytics dashboard and take a look at your traffic over the past few months. Most of us can probably say we'd like to see more traffic, but how and what are you going to do to make that happen? Your analytics can help guide you in the right direction. Where are people coming from to get to your blog (social media, other blogs, etc.?) What keywords are driving them to you? What are your most popular posts? All of these are great indicators of the kinds of things you could blog about more often.

Have you made a new blog friend?

Seriously. Every blogger needs a friend they can talk to who understands the painstaking effort it takes to edit photos, do research, pull affiliate links, and write a post – let alone promoting a blog and keeping content fresh and relevant. In my opinion, you can never have too many blogger buddies with which to brainstorm (and maybe occasionally bitch) with. Many cities and regions have blogger groups or collectives you could join, or you can use social media to make virtual connections with fellow bloggers. You've always got a pretty stacked team of IFB contributors here who'd be happy to chat blogging with you 🙂

Do you have an editorial calendar and idea bank?

In other words, how are your organizing when you write posts and what you write about? I like to keep my editorial calendar in a Google spreadsheet, with tabs for different ideas I've come up with: future post topics, possible series or themes, people I want to interview, brands I'd like to work with, etc. IFB has another example of how to set up an editorial calendar here. I'm not always good at updating my editorial calendar regularly, but having one that also serves as an “idea bank” at least helps me keep track of things I want to write about, in a place that's easy to visualize when I have time to write about it. Keeping an editorial calendar makes it worlds easier to write a batch of posts ahead of time, and go about with your week.

What's working (or not) right now?

It's always good to take at what is and isn't working for you and your blog at any given time. Your analytics will tell you what your readers want, but you should also think about what you want out of your blog. Is there a series or theme that worked for awhile but just isn't relevant to you anymore? Do you have too many ads or outdated blogroll links in your sidebar? Could your About page or contact info need a refresh? Sometimes we get so into the grind of writing our next post that we forget to take a step back and look at everything else.

Do you need a change?

When your blog feels more like a dreaded chore or another notch on your to-do list, it may be time for a change. Maybe you're in need of a blog design makeover, new logo or layout. Maybe you're sick of doing just outfit posts and need to brainstorm other things you can write about. Maybe you need to focus your talents on work or family, and need to take a blog break. Give yourself the space to recognize when you need a change. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut, or feel like you owe your readers an explanation, or worse – posts for the sake of having new posts. You started your blog for a reason, and it's up to you to define what that looks like over time.

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10 Responses

  1. choolee

    thank you for all your great tips, after 5month if blogging i am so happy! everythings work very well! made a lot of friends. got a “huge” fb fanpage, twitter instagram and so on. the only thing i need it some help at google analytics, dear IFB team, is there a post somwhere? i cant find anything ans i dunno how that programm works 🙁 bleeh!

  2. Filipa

    I very happy with my blog. It turned into something I never thought it would be.
    I found a lot of new blogger friends, and I even managed to earn some money.
    My patience has payed off and I truly hope my blog will continue growing.

    When it comes to changes, I think everything needs a change from time to time. But I won’t be doing any on my blog for now. 🙂

    Filipa from

  3. CynthiaCM

    I use my editorial calendar as a general guideline, with maybe two or three topics that are on the “must do” list. Things come up so often at last minute or nearly last minute that a proper calendar just doesn’t work (especially product launches and openings).

  4. Adela

    I’ve just set myself goals to reach over the summer. Short term goals are important. I’ve had a little re-design and am always looking how to improve my blog. Bought new camera so hopefully the photos will be better. IFB has been a huge help. Thank you 🙂
    Adela x

  5. Serena

    A great and helpful post, just the push I need to take a look at my blog and make more time an effort to make mmy blog the best that I can. Will definatly use the calender, I know it will help me be more organised.

    Like choolee, I am can’t understand how to get google analytics to work for me. I’ve tried to get in on my blog, but I don’t think I have done it correctly, as I don’t get any info.
    A step by step guide would be so helpful. Thank you

  6. Andrea Miñoza

    I received a question on my account and it said something about me writing more interesting posts since people just read/comment whenever I have giveaways.

    What are posts worth reading by new/old readers? Do you have any suggestions IFB? 🙂

  7. Jessica

    I have been blogging for just under a month now and so far IFB has been the biggest help! I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have the tips and articles that are posted on IFB.
    Can’t wait to see what the next few months and year brings!
    xo Jess

  8. Oksana Radionova

    Thank you for the tips! As usual, you couldn’t have written about this at a better time! I am currently on a 5-month trip across Europe, which has made blogging and staying organized very, very difficult. But thanks to IFB, I am starting to make progress and am looking forward to getting back to the states and scheduling a major overhaul for the blog! Thanks again!

  9. Katie

    Hi guys! This check list was so handy – I definitely need a blogger friend except I live in a town of about 1000 people so it’s hard to meet people via groups. Maybe I just need to use twitter more & chat with people through there….